Until earlier this year, if you were near downtown Austin, you might happen upon a local oddity.  The Graffiti Park at Castle Hill was one of the most unique sites Austin had to offer.   For nearly eight years graffiti artists from all over would come to imbue the park with their creativity, even if it was only to be covered up by another artist soon.

Vibrant images and swirls covered every available surface of the park, even the trash cans were ornate from graffiti.  Some of the work was intricate, detailed images of faces, animals, monsters, stylized words.  Amazing and detailed portraits that would astound visitors.


Others were crudely constructed attempts that looked more like something I would do if given a can of spray paint and freedom to express myself.  Undisciplined scrawling across every available surface.

But overall there was this sense of awe.  You could visit the park in the morning and by afternoon the artwork could be different. The countless hours, artists and amateurs it took to create the beautiful chaos was inspiring. 

The Graffiti Park reminds me to appreciate the beautiful chaos of life.  Some days are intricate, detailed portraits of life;  a lazy summer day reclining on warm sand as my two young sons’ attempts to bury my legs in the sand are continually thwarted by the tide. A late afternoon car ride, windows down and the smell of honeysuckle on the warm air as it fills the car.  Then there are the days filled with the boys fighting, the dog barking,  and the car breaking down. Life becomes a scrawled four-letter word on a trash can.

If I focus too long on either, I miss the big picture.  The beautiful chaos of life.  And just like at the Graffiti Park, sometimes it’s best to step back and take in the whole picture, to view life like one work of art made up of a billion unique moments.

A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life. – Charles Darwin





Christmas Circa 1998 - pictured is Me, My Mom and Little BrotherChristmas Circa 1998 – pictured is Me, My Mom and Little Brother

Two decades of life have gone by since that Christmas morning.  Nineteen more Christmas mornings have passed.  A High School Graduation.  A Wedding.  More jobs than I could count.  The birth of my oldest son followed by the birth of my youngest.  Funerals.  Anniversaries.  Triumphs.  Failures…..

Sometimes it’s good to stop, take a moment and simply remember; to slow time to a crawl and relive those moments that have passed so suddenly.   

I didn’t know that Christmas Day in 1998 what the next 7,305 days would bring any more than I know today what the next 7,305 will bring.  What I can do is hold the memories from these days as holy.  Learn from the failures, relish the triumphs, and
be better for them both. 

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1807 – 1882
The holiest of all holidays are those
    Kept by ourselves in silence and apart;
    The secret anniversaries of the heart,
    When the full river of feeling overflows;—
The happy days unclouded to their close;
    The sudden joys that out of darkness start
    As flames from ashes; swift desires that dart
    Like swallows singing down each wind that blows!
White as the gleam of a receding sail,
    White as a cloud that floats and fades in air,
    White as the whitest lily on a stream,
These tender memories are;— a Fairy Tale
    Of some enchanted land we know not where,
    But lovely as a landscape in a dream.